10 Wonky Spa Treatments: Beer Baths, Vampire Facials, Placentas & More

Some people will stop at nothing to maintain a youthful appearance.

Credit: Ross Parry

Hey, plenty of us are trying to look fabulous, right? I mean, some folks spend hours in front of the mirror before, perfecting the way their appearance looks in the reflection. A lot of people to go spas to “get their nails done” or to wax any unwanted hair from their bodies. However, there are some pretty wonky routines and techniques out there.

Snake Massage

yellow animal dangerous head
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here’s how it works: A client removed their shirt and trousers, lie down and experience the sensation of small snakes crawling on the skin. According to one client, the treatment helps relieve migraines and soothe sore muscles.

Carp Pedicure

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Reportedly, Turkish salons first developed the practice of immersing clients’ feet in tanks of water and allowing tiny carp, known as “doctor fish,” to nibble away dead skin. More recently, the practice has become popular in the United States.

Cactus Massage

close up shot of cactus
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Mexico’s spas combine familiar beauty treatments with indigenous rituals, using local materials like cactus, volcanic ash, chocolate, vanilla and honey. For example, the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, offers a tequila-and-sage oil massage, but if that sounds a little too rowdy for your taste, try the hakali massage instead — an application of a warm mixture of cactus.

Kim Kardashian and her ‘Vampire Facial Treatment’

In Vampire Facial treatment, your own blood is used which is centrifuged to gain the platelets. This is then mixed in with hyaluronic acid based fillers like Juvederm or Restylane and then is injected back into the face. This treatment is best known to boost skin’s regenerative powers and recover the appearance of wrinkles.

Placenta Facial

Credit: HookedOnBeauty.com

If going to the Swiss clinic that offers injections of live sheep placenta cells is too déclassé for you, maybe you’ll be interested in this: CNN reported in 2008 that a Beverly Hills skin center was offering treatments using human placentas, obtained from Russian maternity wards, for $350 to $500 a session. While there doesn’t seem to be much hard scientific evidence, proponents of placenta-based beauty treatments claim that it does wonders for sun and acne-ravaged skin.

Snail Slime Moisturizer

white and brown shell snail on green leaf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here’s a distasteful animal secretion — that gooey stuff that snails excrete during the course of their travels. Chilean snail farmers, who were up to their elbows in snail goo each day, noticed that their hands were softer and smoother, and that small cuts healed more quickly without infection. That’s how snail slime became a moisturizer.

Czech Beer Bath

According to legend, Cleopatra helped preserve her beauty by bathing in milk. Maybe you’re lactose intolerant. Or maybe you just prefer a brewski. In either case, the next time you’re in the Czech Republic, head to the Chodovar family brewery for a therapeutic beer bath. READ MORE: 6 Beer Spas Where You Can Bathe in Czech Lager

Korean Kiln Sauna

Credit: New York Times

Koreans swear by the han jeung mak, or kiln sauna. The practice, which dates back to the 15th century, involves sitting in a room heated by burning pine wood, wrapped in a jute garment to protect your body from the intense heat. All the perspiring you experience is intended to relax the body, and the kiln sauna is touted as a treatment for shoulder, head and neck pain, and also is said to improve your skin tone.

24-Karat Gold Facial

Beauty technicians who apply the $475 24-karat-gold facial at Santa Fe’s Eldorado Hotel and Spa just want to make you look good. The gold-flecked serum reportedly lifts, tightens and lightens skin, while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also supposedly slows down collagen depletion that causes sagginess, and helps fade age spots.

Cate Blanchett and her ‘Penis Facial

It seems pretty wonky and weird to treat your face with something phallic. This facial treatment was however named as “penis facial” because it is done by extracting stem cells from the circumcised foreskin of Korean babies. It is quite difficult to understand how is that supposed to make us feel better about it but Cate Blanchett has treated her facial skin with it and it apparently helped with elastin and collagen regeneration.

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Matt Sterner

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